Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Reflecting on the impact on families famous and ones like mine!

You could not fail to be moved this weekend hearing the interviews with the winner of the British Open golf, Darren Clarke. He expressed along with his delight, that he had done it for his boys. Visibly fighting tears he was acknowledging the importance to the family of his win following the loss of his wife five years ago to breast cancer. Darren has been a generous supporter of Breakthrough’s work and we are so grateful for that. We understand so well the motivation to ensure other families are spared this pain in the future. Thank you Darren and all those who support you.

The poignancy was also reinforced by the knowledge that he had given his support in recent years to Phil Mickelson too (the runner up at the Open) whose wife and mother had both had treatment for breast cancer. Both are surviving thankfully but their own experience has also had its impact on the family. Seeing the dual impact on these families is such a shocking reminder of how common this experience is for so many and how much work there is to do to change this.

It’s made me reflect on the impact on my own family. Perhaps its again feeling less robust that has taken me back to last time when I felt that my treatment then robbed me of my wellbeing for some time. I worried that I short changed my family because I felt much more tired than normal and consequently had less to give. I was also just a bit flatter than normal and that in turn led to their lives being affected. A house that has less music and laughter isn’t what I would have wanted. But the mojo did come back in time and it will again. In fact I had the ipod on its deck the other day while I made Sunday dinner….mmmm it was Leonard Cohen however. Oh oh!

What I have also seen is that the impact of having a major illness on my family is that it has deepened their sensitivity to others in similar situations. On many occasions I have been struck by their maturity and compassion for others and also their ability to help them because of our experience. I guess that has helped me feel more reassured that maybe some of the negatives have been offset by the special qualities they have developed along the way. But really only they can answer that I guess.

I have arrived for a couple of days in London. My cold is improving and I have walked home once but not sure it really amounts to much progress in terms of the training yet. Must do better!

I will seek opportunities to walk when I can in the next few days and start again for real when I return home. I am also looking for Mindfulness classes to help retain a sense of peace and restoration as my busy world begins to fight(!) back.

Reasons to be cheerful: Connecting with people through my blog is such a great thing. Its not only people who are new to me and travelling a similar journey but its also connecting with old friends and those at a distance too.Its great to hear from you all-thank you.And the weekend finds us heading to Glasgow for a quick visit. I hope to go to the new transport museum as well as celebrating birthdays with those I love! I have heard the new museum is fantastic. There is always that moment of course when you realise that your first car is now in a museum or the bus that took you to school is now seen as a classic! I am also a member of a rare species; I love both Glasgow and Edinburgh. Is that wrong?

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